The headlines are very election dominated at the moment and indeed there is a great deal of work ongoing in the force around the election. There are a number of marginal seats in the force and election visits are thick and fast. There is a comprehensive operation in place. The murder of Jo Cox MP during the referendum and the volatile political environment reminds us all how important it is that the democratic process is safeguarded and protected.
An election on the run in to Christmas is unusual and comes at a time when the force is getting busy. I have spoken to a few of you on the Christmas market in Birmingham and also had some nice letters of thanks for the warm reception you have provided for visitors. I am aware the Silent Night draws in staff from all over the force to help out. Your flexibility is really appreciated.
Chief Constable David Thompson
While we have recently seen the security threat level drop I would underline that security remains at the forefront of these operations. After the terrible murders in London Bridge clearly there is no room for complacency.
While we get ready for Christmas another important birthday celebration has been taking place. In the Sikh faith it is the 550th birthday of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Guru Nanak’s life and beliefs form the foundation pillars of the Sikh faith. We are very fortunate that we serve the UK’s largest Sikh community and have many Sikh staff celebrating this anniversary.
I was proud to attend the National Sikh Police Association Event at Ryton as we marked this special day. Our own Sikh Police Association is a very big part of the national group. Thank you for your great work.
I am very pleased to see some terrific strides forward on our improvement plan. I would like to draw out an improving response policing picture with improving response times, some impressive reductions on burglary on homes and a good volume of detections. I would also call out some great work by the PPU on improving domestic abuse and rape charges. This demand on PPU is very high and there is some terrific work underway in those teams to achieve those results.
There are two other areas of operation I would call out this month, both around violence. The first is the charges that have been brought in the murder of Keelan Wilson. Keelan was killed in Wolverhampton last year and was 15. There has been an extensive investigation and now a trial will follow. I am grateful for the diligent work that has taken place.
I also want to thank those of you who responded to events on the weekend of the 23rd – 24th November where we had some challenging incidents not least those at Star City.
Finally, you will have seen we have started to advertise the training modules for Control Works – our replacement for the current Oasis command and control system. Oasis has been a great servant of WMP but is well past its end of life and will cease to be available to us in 2020. Control Works is a real step forward. We have learned quite a lot from the My Time implementation. Staff in Force Contact have received extensive training.
We cannot offer a course to everyone but I have used the online materials and they are good. I normally use mobility to access Oasis logs and I found the guide to the new APP very helpful. I think it looks better than the current one on our devices. I suspect I will need to look at the training materials again before go live. I suggest an early read now and then a revision session before go live which we think will be late January.
As always thank you so much for the great work. The results are very evident.